Women gamers streaming

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com, or follow me on Twitter.

I really, really wish it was possible to know the country of origin of the commenters who comment about women’s activities online. I am very curious if there are some nations that produce a disproportionate number of aggressive trolls. I assume some nations (Sweden?) produce proportionally less trolls than other nations (Ukraine? India?), but I am left guessing.

Here is a bit of the culture trolling that surrounds women gamers who stream their activities:

Vivyan Andrew, a 29 year old graduate from New York University, has been streaming for maybe three weeks. She amassed a following quickly, just like most of the women I talked to.

“Because the gaming industry is dominated by men,” she explained to me, “it’s much easier for a woman to become successful as there isn’t competition at all; you’re like a breath of fresh air. I personally feel that my success has a lot to do with my gender, but a major part of it is also personality and attitude. The viewers will click on your stream because you’re a woman, but it’s how you present yourself that determines whether or not you’ve gained a follower or a returning viewer. You have to be yourself so that your stream is different and unique.

“Yes, if you’re a woman and you’re streaming, the misconceptions are that you’re seeking attention and/or trying to use your ‘assets’ to receive donations. The misconceptions are very superficial as they invalidate the streamer as a person and what she has to offer beyond her appearance.”

The necessity of actually having a good personality and being entertaining was particularly evident while I was watching streamers like Mia Rose, a part-time exotic dance instructor in Beverly Hills. You might know her if you’ve ever watched nerdy porn; she’s famous for “Whorecraft.”

Or, perhaps you know her from World of Warcraft, where she was banned for…being Mia Rose. Eventually this resulted in a quest where you have to kill an NPC called “Mia The Rose.”

She’s also a hardcore gamer that streams, though to get to her content you have to click through a screen that informs you that the stream might have inappropriate content—something that was surprisingly uncommon with the women streamers I checked out. Once you get in, you’ll notice that Mia displays her latest donors at the top of the stream, along with dollar amounts. She also has her Amazon wishlist linked.

Like many streamers, she plays games and fields ample questions from the peanut gallery over in her stream’s chat. It was hard to tell who was a ‘real fan’ and what people were just happy to have a pretty face to interact with, and perhaps these things don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Even so, a small sampling of the comments:
“sexcam work better for getting donation”
“how much u want me to donate beautiful”
“how many cocks have been in your *** ”

She answered the last one nonchalantly, sarcastically, almost—you can tell she pays no mind to it. Actually, she might welcome that type of talk (within reason), because much of that stream’s talk revolved around relationships, appearance and sex.

She talked about how willing she is when it comes to offering anal to her boyfriends. She talked about how orgasms are all mental and so of course she still “feels stuff down there” (she was asked if sex was boring to her after doing porn). She talked about breaking up with her ex. She talked about being paid five thousand dollars for pissing on someone’s face, which was “very empowering.”

She talked about all these things while over a thousand people watch her playing games. They’re probably watching intently. I don’t say this only because she’s attractive or even because she’s being explicit, but because she’s actually really entertaining—which, in a way, is similar to what she did in porn.

She talked about breaking up with her ex. She talked about being paid five thousand dollars for pissing on someone’s face, which was “very empowering.”

“I actually see a lot of similarities between my old occupation and streaming,” she revealed to me in an interview. “For one, I have to perform. For two, I have to be more entertaining than my competition. I try to look good any time I’m streaming, and I try to play the games I enjoy at a reasonably competitive level while interacting with my fans – it’s actually really similar to porn, and pretty challenging/rewarding.”

While watching, you might be a little shocked at how open she is about things, but that’s part of the charm, too. No bullshit. She’s just honest.

“Yes, I used to do porn because I was interested in experiencing it,” she said, “I think if some of my more critical viewers asked themselves what they’d do if given the same opportunity, they might notice we have some similarities. I’m really a nice person, who plays video games, streams and happened to do porn when she was younger. I don’t think these things define me, so being harassed doesn’t bother me very much. I’m also an Aries, a Radiohead fan and a devoted dog owner.”

Beyond a life-long love for gaming, she’s streaming for ‘nobler’ reasons, too.

“I want to inspire people—especially other girl gamers—and show them it’s possible that you can be as sexy, empowered and attractive as you want to be, while still playing video games at a competitive level and being sort of a nerd. The whole internet gaming culture is pretty much a boy’s club. ‘Tits or GTFO’ comes to mind. But that’s totally fine.”

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